To unite and affiliate into one organization all worthy and qualified optometrists within the jurisdiction of this Society, and in the State of California
To foster growth and diffusion of optometric knowledge among its members.
To educate the public to a greater realization of the importance and value of optometric science and service.
To promote such legislation as will be in the best interests of the general public, and organized optometry.
To elevate the standards of the optometric profession as a whole.
To watch over the welfare of its members, and prevent insofar as possible, interference therewith.
San Mateo County Optometric Society was organized around 1953. At the time, the population of San Mateo County was 235,659. For many years SMCOS had about 20 members. We were small in numbers, but that didn’t stop us in the pursuit of advancing our profession.
In the 1950s, we were not able to use any anesthetic eyedrops, so measuring intraocular pressures was difficult. Moreover, the issues facing optometrists had to deal with advertising. Contact lens technology was in its infancy. And most of the early advances in corneal contact lenses were by optometrists. Most ophthalmologists had advised against wearing contact lenses. But there was little awareness of contact lenses by the public. To change that, the PR Counsel of SMCOS recommended and organized a “Contact Lens Queen” contest at the San Mateo County Fair, which was held in 1958 and 1959.
Over half a century later, contact lenses have become an integral aspect of our practices and SMCOS still strives to maintain its original goals as noted in our mission statement.
A special thanks to Dr. Norman Licht for providing the SMCOS historical content. Dr. Licht was the president of SMCOS in 1960 and again in 1972.